Yuletide Greetings                                                December 22, 2007

Our friend, Mike, asked us to keep an eye on his boat for a month while he returned to California for Christmas.   Either he doesn’t read my “Updates” or he is suffering age-induced memory loss.  When last asked to "look after" someone’s vehicle while they took off on a 2 week cruise, I immediately placed an ad in the "Used Vehicles" section of the Moab Times…

No problema!!  I, as well as a lot of other guys here in San Carlos, will really hate seeing Mike return.  My marketing strategy has been elegantly simplistic:  Ladies board for free while I charge the guys $100 each.  That’s dollars, not pesos!  I am now operating 4 cruises per day and may have to do a moonlight cruise for the overflow!  I may even make it a full moon cruise…

I took advantage of the time to reintroduce myself to God and ask that, if the motorhome did fall over, please don’t let it land on my Jeep.  We returned to San Carlos just in time for the annual Shrimp Festival which always includes lots of great shrimp dishes from the local restaurants, as well as traditional dancing by one of the local youth groups…

Welp, it’s that time of year once again: time for the Christmas form letter from hundreds of people you don’t know, about hundreds of other people you don’t know, as well as their children and grandchildren and assorted pets which run the gamut from dogs and cats up to, and including, those truly adorable pot bellied pigs.  Every year my Bride and I have a heated discussion about abusing others as they have abused us.  (I’m not sure if that captures the Biblical entreaty or not.)  Thus far, I have prevailed and we have yet to engage in this form of annual psychological torment.  Instead, I have chosen to send out these mindless missives on a near monthly basis in order to maintain a near constant level of frustration and foreboding among you, the readers of this nonsense.  Y’all really do need to find something more constructive to do with your time!  In truth, we really enjoy publishing these snapshots of our life on the road and, most especially, love hearing back from many of you with your comments and suggestions.  I’ll tell you what, mix yourselves a margarita, sit back in a comfy chair, and enjoy a Mexican sunset on us…

The total cost of this unexpected vehicular malady was just under $600 and had my Bride suffering a nearly total nervous collapse after seeing how precariously her home was leaning as they replaced the tire…

Santa Hugs, Chuck and Kalyn

When you watch these kids dance it is easy to understand why it is a young person’s game.  I don't believe their feet even touch the floor during the entire time they are dancing!  December is that time of year when the Tecate brewery puts on extra help to ensure an adequate beer supply for my birthday.  This one, Numero 63, we celebrated at one of the local eateries with the in-laws…

My sister-in-law has been complaining for years that I never include her in any of these adventures; methinks I have heard the last of these grumblings.  I am not at all certain as to what happened in this picture, but I can only account for one of my brother-in-law's hands and she has that freshly goosed look on her face!  Remember: Be careful what you wish for!   As usual, they spared no expense in providing for a memorable meal at one of the local gourmet restaurants…

We had some difficulty getting that guy on the right to put his clothes back on even after we returned to the dock!  The quantity of fuel required on each of these cruises to keep two 400-horsepower engines running constantly to power 6 margarita blenders is absolutely breathtaking!  We are indeed fortunate that my Bride happened upon Mike’s charge card for the marina fuel dock while browsing through his sock drawer.  Since this is the Christmas season (none of that politically correct “holiday” crap here!), and some of you may have something better to do with your time, we’ll simply end this edition with a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year…

As “rustic” as this place may appear, it is far superior to the restaurant they chose for last year’s celebration, located just in front of the “Pay by the hour” motel and adult novelty shoppe…

Okay, now to the crux of the story.  In our previous installment, we were relating the tale of the current catastrophic failure of our Dometic FRENCH refrigerator.  We had contacted their technicians in Indiana (a suburb of France), had the problem diagnosed and parts shipped to Mexico.  In keeping with that French tradition of, “Why get it right the first time when you can always do it again?" they sent the wrong part.  This resulted in our making a trip back to the USA to an RV repair shop in Sierra Vista, Arizona where the defective part was replaced with an after-market part manufactured in Oregon by someone other than the French.  Thank God for those Italians!  Our trip northward, though usually uneventful, included the replacement of one of our RV tires which was destroyed by an errant chunk of concrete in the road…

It was fortunate for my buddy, Tom, that the used Jeep market didn’t pick up during his absence and, even at that, he nearly returned to 3,000 head of chickens that I was seriously considering as a fair trade.  But, I learned my lesson on that one.   Selling something that doesn’t belong to you is just not right…and damn difficult to accomplish without all the required paperwork!  And so, the dilemma becomes, what can be done with a boat which you have complete access to, but are unable to sell without clear proof of ownership…